Déjà Food: Of Streetcars and Optimists

Do you have a story of a long-gone restaurant from metro Detroit’s storied past?

During my early years, my mother and I took the Mack Avenue streetcar downtown to meet my mother’s sister and my cousin at the Kern’s Clock; then we were off to Hudson’s. Lunch at Hudson’s was a great treat, but best of all was one block away – the Mayflower Coffee Shop next to the Wright-Kay building (now the site of Wright & Co. and John Varvatos). The warm and cozy setting was a perfect respite. They served Maxwell House coffee, hot chocolate, and the best doughnuts. As we grew older we switched to coffee with real cream. We wrapped our hands around the trademark tall mugs as we waited for the next streetcar home. There were several Mayflower shops across the county and each one included The Optimist’s Creed affixed upon a wall. We always recited it: “As you ramble on thru life, brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut, and not upon the hole.” Good advice, then and now. — JJ Cusmano, Grosse Pointe Woods

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Do you have a story of a long-gone restaurant from metro Detroit’s storied past? We’ll give a $100 gift certificate to one of the finer “modern” restaurants in town to the author of items we publish. Email us at editorial@hourdetroit.com or snail mail us at 5750 New King Dr., Troy, MI 48098. 

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